Diary of the times of Charles II/Volume 1/The Dowager Lady Sunderland to Mr. Sidney, September 2


September 2nd.

Since you were so thankful for a poor silly letter, I'll tell you of one more. I writ to you as soon as my little brains were settled by hearing the King was much mended, and, thanks be to God, does yet continue; but I have the less comfort in it because his fits were put off, like mine, by the Jesuit's powder, and it was as necessary to give it to him as to me, for he was with two fits weaker than I was with more. If all the trouble people have been in was out of kindness to him, never any king had so much, for it was to a distraction. I believe yet there is scarce any body beyond Temple Bar that believes his distemper proceeded from any thing but poison, though as little like it as if he had fallen from a horse; every body is very desirous to have him come to town as soon as he is able; as yet he does not appear much inclined to it, yet one of our friends, he that is constantly there, you do not doubt, is very well in favour of it, and the other, who is much there, is so too.

In my last, I told you of a fine affair of love and caressing: now I am told, but by no Privy Councillor, that the Duchess of Richmond had, notwithstanding the troubles of the time, complained to the King of the great injury How had done her in bragging of her favours and letters when she had never given him cause for either. The King appointed the Duke of Monmouth, my Lords Essex, Sunderland, and Halifax, to examine this business; this I am told, and I think they judge of the lady's side; then he is a fine gentleman if he lies. If the Privy Councillors had not used their authority to keep the crowds out of the King's chamber, he had been smothered; the bedchamber men could do nothing to hinder it.

My niece, Martha, passed this way into Northamptonshire; my sister has been very kind to them, and keeps the child; the two sisters, I doubt, are not very kind, nor the two brothers-in-law. I dare say, by what Montague has told me, Mr. Algernon has been a good while at Paris, and not gone to Holland. Penn did what he could to help Fagg and hinder my brother, Pelham, who had not one gentleman against him. My Lord Clifford does not stand; my Lord Burlington would not bear the charge. This town does infinitely abound in lies; I believe there is a great one just now, that the Duke came last night, and went immediately to Windsor; this would make news indeed for the next post. With much affection, I am your humble servant,


Not so strange as true, the Duke is come, as others will tell you, only with old Ned Villiers, Churchill, and young Legge; how he was received I did not hear. I have seen nobody that knows any thing. I believe nothing has surprised more a long time but his going.